music clip of the day


Category: classical

Saturday, July 19th


Henry Cowell (1897-1965), The Tides of Manaunaun, c. 1917
Andy Costello (piano), live, Chicago, 2009



art beat: more from Thursday night at the Art Institute of Chicago

Josef Koudelka (1938-), Ireland, 1972
Nationality Doubtful, through September 14th


Thursday, July 17th

never enough

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Suite No. 3 in C major for Unaccompanied Cello; Jean-Guihen Queyras (1967-), live, c. 2007


Tuesday, July 15th


Lorin Maazel (mah-ZELL), conductor, violinist, composer
March 6, 1930-July 13, 2014

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”), Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia (Lorin Maazel, cond.), live, Spain (A Coruña), 2012

Charlie Haden, Tommy Ramone, Lorin Maazel: their differences are dwarfed by what, as music makers, they shared.

Thursday, July 10th


Franz Schubert (1797-1828), Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major (2nd movt., Andantino), Paul Lewis (1972-), live, Boston, 2013



reading table

During Wind and Rain
by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

They sing their dearest songs—
He, she, all of them—yea,
Treble and tenor and bass,
And one to play;
With the candles mooning each face. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
How the sick leaves reel down in throngs!

They clear the creeping moss—
Elders and juniors—aye,
Making the pathways neat
And the garden gay;
And they build a shady seat. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
See the white storm-birds wing across!

They are blithely breakfasting all—
Men and maidens—yea,
Under the summer tree,
With a glimpse of the bay,
While pet fowl come to the knee. . . .
Ah, no; the years O!
And the rotten rose is ript from the wall.

They change to a high new house,
He, she, all of them—aye,
Clocks and carpets and chairs
On the lawn all day,
And brightest things that are theirs. . . .
Ah, no; the years, the years;
Down their carved names the rain-drop ploughs.

Tuesday, June 24th


Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), organ, “Improvisations,” live, Paris

Wednesday, June 18th

never enough

Same composer, same pianist—23 years earlier.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major (“Hammerklavier”), Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), live, Germany (Bonn), 1970

1st & 2nd movements

3rd movement (beginning)

3rd movement (end), 4th movement



art beat

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), Seville, Spain, 1933


Tuesday, June 17th


Searching, searching—never finding.

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827), Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major (Third Movt.), Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000), live, Japan, 1993



reading table

Imaginary Number
by Vijay Seshadri (1954-)

The mountain that remains when the universe is destroyed
is not big and is not small.
Big and small are

comparative categories, and to what
could the mountain that remains when the universe is destroyed
be compared?

Consciousness observes and is appeased.
The soul scrambles across the screes.
The soul,

like the square root of minus 1,
is an impossibility that has its uses.

Tuesday, June 3rd

two takes

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Prelude in C-sharp minor

Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano roll


Sun Ra (1914-1993), recording, 1980



found words

Potentially fatal
dangers lurk in
your backyard



taking a break

I’m taking some time off—back in a while.

Thursday, May 29th

No matter where you are, new sounds are just around the corner.

Marcos Balter (1974-), Strohbass (2011), Shanna Gutierrez (bass flute) and Ryan Muncy (baritone saxophone), live, Evanston, Ill., 2011


Tuesday, May 27th

the other night

The sky’s all thunder and lightning, and it’s almost midnight, and I’m sitting in a Walgreens parking lot near Midway Airport, waiting for my son Alex’s long-delayed flight to arrive, and if it weren’t for Rubinstein’s recordings of Chopin’s nocturnes, which I keep playing over and over amidst the rain and the neon, I’d be going absolutely bonkers.

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849), Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 1; Arthur [Artur] Rubinstein (1887-1982), piano



random thoughts

Listening to Chopin, reading Chekhov: if I ever retire, maybe I’ll relocate to the 19th century.


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